Not too long ago, people relied on word of mouth or the phone book to find a plumber or drain cleaner. Now, customers are more likely to search online. If you don’t have a website, you may be overlooked. In fact, research shows six out of ten consumers expect businesses to have an online presence, and more than half of these consumers head straight to a company’s website when they want information.
How Do I Make a Website?
Long gone are the days where you need expertise in coding and experience in computer science to build a professional-looking website. You can create a website that shows off your plumbing business and attracts new customers with some simple online tools and a little bit of time. This is all done through website creation tools called “What You See Is What You Get” builders — or more simply WYSIWYG builders. With these tools, you can easily drag and drop features onto a page and fill them with information about your business.
A few of the most popular website builders on the internet are Wordpress, Wix, Weebly and Squarespace. Each of these sites offers a free version or trial period of their services, as well as a range of paid plans to choose from. Each offers different functionality, such as online payments and increased data storage, so it will be up to you to decide which plan is best for your plumbing business.
When picking a domain, or address, for your site, you want it to be as close to your actual business name as possible. So if your business is John Doe Plumbing, you will want to get www.johndoeplumbing.com, or something similar. This will make it easier for customers to remember your website address and find your website when searching online. You can use any of the web hosting companies above to purchase a domain for a small fee. Use caution when opting to use a subdomain (free or low-cost option) instead of a domain.
Pro Tip: Having a website domain means your web address will look like this: www.yourplumbingbusiness.com; a subdomain includes the name of your hosting company in your web address and will look like this: www.yourplumbingbusiness.wordpress.com. A subdomain makes your web address lengthier and may sound less professional.
What Should I Put On My Website?
There is certain information that every business needs to have on its website:
- Contact information. This is priority number one for customers coming to your website. Make sure your phone number, email address and physical address are displayed prominently.
- Business type. Customers should be able to tell immediately that your business provides plumbing services. You can accomplish this with a section talking about your business along with pictures and icons that reflect the services you offer.
- Services you provide. Whether you offer a range of plumbing or drain cleaning services or specialize in a few, customers need to know exactly what kinds of services you offer.
- Call-to-action. Catch customers’ attention with a feature saying “Call Now” or “Contact Us” along with a phone number. Place your call-to-action in a prominent place such as the top of your website so it is the first thing a customer sees.
- Contact Us form. Most website builders include pre-made forms you can place on your website that allow customers to submit requests directly to you from your site.
Other things may also make your website more effective:
- Customer Testimonials. If you have received praise from customers in the past, adding that to your website can attract even more business. Some website builders also allow you to easily embed Yelp or Local Google testimonials into your website.
- Pricing. Some business owners choose not to include pricing information on their websites while others say that it is one of the most important pieces of information on their site. Customers often like to see pricing up front, but plumbing services can vary in pricing depending on the size and requirements of the job. If you decide to not list rates on your website, include a quote request form or provide a pricing range.
- Social media links. If you are active on social media outlets like Facebook or Twitter, include links to them on your site.
- Coupons or special offers. If your business is running a special, place coupons or other sales on a page easy to find so that customers do not miss them.
- Accepting Payment. Some plumbers and drain cleaning professionals include a link to their Paypal account to make it easier for customers to pay for their services. This functionality might come at a small fee depending on your website hosting company.
Making it easier for your potential customers to get the information they need will help give you the advantage you need over a competitor. But, developing a website is only half the challenge, making sure it is designed to look professional is easy to navigate is also crucial. Thankfully, it has never been easier or more affordable to design a great-looking website. Check out Website Design Basics for Plumbers and Drain Cleaners to learn more:
Pro Tip: Do a Google search or jump onto Yelp and check out your competitor’s websites. What information do they include? Make note of any ideas you’d like incorporate on your site.
The Drain Business is a series of articles written to help plumbing and drain contractors build and grow their business. For more resources like this, subscribe to MyTana's newsletter, where we'll keep you up-to-date and informed.